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Posted by omobloke on 10/05/2011
Antonia's used to be known for authentic Italian, not Italian -American, cooked by Italians and owned and oerated by Italians, who are wont to use the finest available ingredients and let the preparations be simple and showcase the quality of the goods. Not so much anymore it seems, but on Duval St prices and popularity ride this 30+ yr.old establishment. While food, decor and service still remain in the range with other top spots in town, I would not say extraordinary any more in speaking of the fare here. Passable pastas, the homemade is too thick, heavy and not silken like the best fresh pasta should be. Fresh fish is just that and I suspect one of the only raw ingredients along with salad greens and some veggies,not of the mass-produced frozen foodservice ilk. Not that frozen lamb and chicken and shrimp and meat can't be good, but it's different from fresh in many ways and something that sets a place apart from others in the running. Just saying....Homemade crispy flatbread, homemade mozzarella cheese, a good simmered marinara, those aforementioned fish and seafood dishes, and the tiramisu and amaretto coconut semifreddo are standouts. The gnocchi can be very good, light and well cooked more often than not, and even those frozen shrimp and squid can be tasty when cooked perfectly and napped with the right sauce, etc. I found some of the reduction sauces on the meat dishes just heavy, gloppy and ovrpowering, like made from a commmercial base, as sometimes the soups can be(other times the soup is superb). Sounds a little inconsisent, no?